MSU - Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Preview

MSU - Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Preview

Provided by MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's and women's cross country programs will host the 25th annual Auto-Owners Spartan Invitational Friday, Sept. 12. The event will take place at MSU's Forest Akers East Golf Course, beginning with the women's collegiate 6K race at 12 p.m., followed the men's collegiate 8K race at approximately 12:30 p.m. The high school men's and women's 5K races will start at 1:10 p.m. and the middle school races will get underway at approximately 6:20 p.m.

2014 Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Meet Information

A total of 30 college and junior college programs will compete in the men's and women's collegiate races, including: Albion, Alpena Community College, Ashland, Central Michigan, Cleary, Concordia, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Findlay, Grand Valley State, Hillsdale, Hope, Jackson College, Lake Superior State, Lansing Community College, Lawrence Tech, Macomb Community College, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Mott Community College, Muskegon Community College, Northern Michigan, Northwood, Oakland Community College, Olivet, Saginaw Valley State, Sault, Schoolcraft, Spring Arbor, and Wayne State.

All spectators must park in the MSU Commuter Lot (89), located at the corner of Mt. Hope and Farm Lane. There will also be a second entrance open along Mt. Hope that is walking distance from the Commuter Lot. A free shuttle to the Forest Akers main entrance on Harrison Road will be provided for all fans attending the meet. Admission to the meet is $7 for adults and $5 for students with valid student ID and/or under-18. Spectators are asked to stay off the golf course greens and tee boxes to help preserve their conditions. No barbeque grills or pets (with the exception of official service dogs) or will be allowed at the course.

Collegiate Race Schedule

12:00 p.m. - College Women (6K)

12:30 p.m. - College Men (8K)

High School Race Schedule (5K)

1:10 p.m. - High School Boys White Race (Division 3 & 4)

1:35 p.m. - High School Boys Bronze Race (Division 2 & 3)

2:00 p.m. - High School Girls White Race (Division 3 & 4)

2:25 p.m. - High School Girls Bronze Race (Division 2 & 3)

2:50 p.m. - High School Boys JV #1 (School Names Starting with "A-L")

3:20 p.m. - High School Boys JV #2 (School Names Starting with "M-Z")

3:50 p.m. - High School Girls JV #1 (School Names Starting with "A-L")

4:20 p.m. - High School Girls JV #2 (School Names Starting with "M-Z")

4:50 p.m. - High School Boys "Spartan" Elite

5:10 p.m. - High School Boys Green Race (Division 1 & 2)

5:30 p.m. - High School Girls "Spartan" Elite

5:55 p.m. - High School Girls Green Race (Division 1 & 2)

Middle School Race Schedule (3200m)

6:20 p.m. - Middle School Boys

6:28 p.m. - Middle School Girls

The Michigan State women's cross country squad will enter the meet ranked sixth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason coaches' poll, while also holding the top billing in the NCAA Great Lakes Region. The Spartans turned in a brilliant performance at last week's University of Oregon Bill Dellinger Invitational, where they finished first overall with 20 points and had the top three individual finishers in the competition. Sophomore Rachele Schulist led all runners with a time of 19:38, followed by Leah O'Connor (19:53) and Lindsay Clark (20:11) in second and third place, respectively. For her efforts, Schulist was recognized as the USTFCCCA Women's NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week and the Big Ten Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week.

The Spartans are coming off a strong performance at the Bill Dellinger Invitational on the men's side as well. MSU finished second behind No. 2 Oregon in the 8K event, led by returning All-American Caleb Rhynard in third place overall with a time of 24:28. Senior Ben Carruthers also finished in the top-10 with a time of 24:39, placing seventh overall. Junior Nick Moon was last week's Big Ten Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Week after winning the Central Michigan Jeff Drenth Memorial on Aug. 29. As a team, the Spartan men are currently the fifth-ranked squad in the NCAA Great Lakes Region.